Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Recently a friend and I went to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. It is on the former Mitchell Field where flights took off for various trips. The museum follows the history of flight from it's early beginnings to the present day. 

My first sketch was of a hot air balloon basket. I wish the balloon had been inflated inside, but it was fun to sketch it without it too.

A number of the exhibits are of local planes and pilots. This Republic P-47N Thunderbolt was built in 1945 at Republic Aeronautics which was located on Long Island not far from the museum.

There was a section on lunar modules and space transport. They had a room containing a setup of the first landing on the moon. This was a Grumman Lunar module built on Long Island at the Grumman plant.

It was a different location to sketch things a bit out of my comfort zone.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Islip Canal View

Finding a new spot along the water here is always fun. I like the buildings along this canal and the shrink-wrapped boats were fun too. Usually there is something odd that I find, like the uneven sized windows facing the canal.

Monday, January 29, 2018


My Wednesday night sketch group at the library in Patchogue had the theme of hats last week. I did a whole collection.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Portrait and Strudel

Yes, it is an odd combination, but that's what's up next in my sketch que.

Sam posed recently for my portrait group, but I forgot to post the painting. This was her second time posing for us. Now she's back at school so I don't think we'll be seeing her again too soon.

For the Scavenger Hunt on Wet Canvas I had to sketch a dessert. I don't keep much for dessert in the house, but Jerry and I had been out to dinner and I brought my dessert home for later. Trust me...the strudel looks better than it tasted.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


This week Pam modeled for our portrait group. This one took me most of the session and did come out looking pretty much like her.

I decided to try a 10 minute sketch of Pam too. I didn't have the water-soluble graphite stick or the Tombow marker with me, so I used a watercolor pencil and a different marker. I like the effect of the materials better.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Portrait Party Prep

For the last few years the NYC Urban Sketchers plan a date for a "portrait party." Although this isn't "urban sketching" the group loves this activity. This is the first year I am participating. I usually feel that if I'm going all the way into the city from out here (1 1/2hrs each way) I want to sketch the city, not just people. Everyone says how much fun it is, so this year I decided to give it a try. There are over 60 people signed up and the group is divided into groups of 12 I think. The number of people that can participate is limited so once the quota is reached nobody else can participate unless someone drops out. Everyone is given 9 x 12 watercolor paper for the portraits. In each group each person poses for 10 minutes...YES ONLY 10 MINUTES, and you have to sketch them in that time frame. You do one sketch of each person in your group. You need to work in a medium that can be seen from a distance and at the end of the entire session (you have to stay to the end) all the sketches are arranged in a grid for display.

It was suggested that newbies develop a strategy for how they are going to do this. Some of the other sketchers that have participated in the past gave us advice and described their method of approaching this 10 minute sketch. I have been practicing a bit...but not from life. I downloaded photos of people I know onto my computer. I crop the photo, set the timer for 10 minutes and sketch away. What I have figured out for a method that works somewhat for me is I sketch the person's face with a water-soluble graphite stick. I begin with the eyes and nose and work out from there. Then I go over that sketch with a Tombow brown marker which bleeds, adjusting the sketch as needed. I add water to blend the ink and graphite for shading, and then I add watercolors for skin tones. I did these on just copy paper from my printer so they have buckled a lot. I'm trying to do a few every day so the 10 minutes won't seem too daunting. My only hope is that the graphite and marker will blend as well on the watercolor paper we use. I still have almost a week to practice since the portrait party is Feb 3.

Here are some of the 10 minute portraits I've done. For the most part there is some glimmer of the person in the quick sketch...some more than others.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sayville House

Sometimes it surprises me when I find houses in Sayville that I haven't noticed before. lol

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Alcohol Ink Tiles

On Sunday I went to visit my sister, Michelle, in NJ. We did a few alcohol ink tiles. I've decided that when I do these I need to take notes on what I did, since I seem to forget by the next time I want to do them.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Some days I just have time for something small to paint, like this slice of cantaloupe.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bellport House

I am forever riding around looking for interesting houses to sketch. I found this one somewhere in Bellport. I don't think I could find it again. lol

Sunday, January 21, 2018


My Wednesday night sketch group had tools as our subject this week. We had some old, rusty tools and some new tools to sketch.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Women's March 2018

Today was the Women's March 2018. It is hard to believe that it is already a year since the last one and it seems things have gone steadily downhill. I knew I had to be part of the march again. I tried to get together with friends but nobody from out where I live was interesting in going into the city, since there was a local march. One of my sketching friends, Julie was getting together with a group of friends and invite me to join them.

I took the 8:40 train from Ronkonkoma along with many other protesters. I did a sketch of a few women that were sitting near me on the train.

I was meeting Julie and her friends at the Aroma Expresso Bar on 72nd St. I was early so I stood outside and sketched some of the protesters that were getting ready to march. Shortly thereafter I was joined by another friend of ours who planned to sketch. Here are the sketches I did outside the coffee shop.

Finally we were all together and started to head to the march. 72nd St was filled with people, wall to wall, so the police were moving the crowd up to 75th St. We made a left and the next thing I knew I had lost everyone except one of of Julie's friends. It is hard enough to keep people you recognize in your site, but it is nearly impossible when you don't know the people. I texted Julie a few times but in the process I lost the one person that was with me. lol Finally I decided to just go it alone. The crowd was intense and not moving since the march hadn't actually started down Central Park West. I scooted out of the barricades and found a spot to lean against a building and started sketching the crowd...this is the result.

By the time I finished this sketch I needed a restroom and something to eat. I walked away from the crowd and took care of both. Then I headed back up to Central Park West. I walked with the crowd for quite a while and then went off to the side and did another final sketch of the crowd.

In case you want to see more, here are a few photos. People were very clever coming up with signs for the march.

Friday, January 19, 2018

People and Drinks

At the end of our sketching day at the Frick we went to a restaurant for our "show and tell." I did manage to sketch some of the other sketchers that were at the table next to me.

I'm not one to do still life paintings very often, but we had another snow day and I was indoors for the day. I use a French press for my coffee every morning so I used that and a few accessories to go with it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Visit to the Frick Collection

Last Sunday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Frick Collection on Fifth Ave and 70th St. It is amazing to think that all the artworks inside belonged to one family. Below is part of the Wikipedia entry about the museum.
The Frick is one of the pre-eminent small art museums in the United States, with a high-quality collection of old master paintings and fine furniture housed in six galleries within the former residence. Frick had intended the mansion to eventually become a museum. Many of the paintings are still arranged according to Frick's design. Besides its permanent collection, the Frick has always organized small, focused temporary exhibitions.[6]
The collection features some of the best-known paintings by major European artists, as well as numerous works of sculpture and porcelain. It also has 18th century French furnitureLimoges enamel, and Oriental rugs.[1] After Frick's death, his daughter, Helen Clay Frick, expanded the collection, with a third of its artworks acquired since 1919. Although the museum cannot lend the two-thirds that belonged to Frick, as stipulated in his will, the Frick Collection does lend artworks and objects acquired since his death.[6]
Included in the collection are Jean-HonorĂ© Fragonard's masterpiece The Progress of Love, three paintings by Johannes Vermeer including Mistress and Maid, two paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael including Quay at Amsterdam,[7] and Piero della Francesca's St. John the Evangelist.

My favorite spot was the Garden Court where I could easily sit for hours. It is beautiful and peaceful.

Tucked away in other rooms and alcoves were sculptures, paintings, furniture and accessories...all of them lovely.

One room had enormous paintings and portraits as well as a few tables with sculptures.

You can see that I worked in watercolors and ink. I was almost finished with this sketch when one of the guards came over to me and my friend to tell us that we could only use color at all, not even colored pencil. It struck me funny because I had been painting and sketching at that point for nearly 4 hours and a good part of the time that I was sketching the alcove above this sketch, another guard had been watching me paint and hadn't said a word about it. Later in the day when we were sharing our sketches someone who that same guard approached about "no color" was told that the guard's boss was making his rounds so they were speaking to all the artists to warn them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sunday Morning

On Sunday I went into the city.  Taking the Long Island Railroad gave me a little time to do a pencil sketch of one of my fellow riders.

When I got to Penn Station I stopped for a cup of coffee in Au Bon Pain. The customers were perfect for a sketch. This was done with a Lamy Safari pen filled with a water-soluble brown ink that bleeds nicely for shading.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

San Souci Park

Down the road from me just into Sayville is San Souci County Park that I've never ventured into. I do like sitting in the parking lot and looking down that path. The bits of snow and bit of fog made it interesting. Lots of people stop there to walk their pets.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Foggy Bay

Once the temperatures started to warm up a bit we started having some "snow fog." The warmer air against the cold piles of snow created the fog. This was sketched down at the end of Candee Ave in Sayville. The melting snow was causing a lot of puddles.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Snow by the Trees

Our snow captured my attention for a few days. This was painted by a wooded area along the road in Sayville.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Cathedral Door

We had nice weather the other day so I took a ride to Dick Blick which is about 40 minutes from me. After shopping I went looking for a place to sketch. I remembered seeing the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City once, so I googled it. My friend, Suzala came and met me to sketch. It was hard to find a view where you could see the whole building where it wasn't overwhelming, so we sat in my car by the side door, and that was my subject.

Friday, January 12, 2018


The nerves in my shoulder and side have bothering me so I went to an urgent care facility in Sayville to see if they could do anything for me. They prescribed prednisone which has helped a bit. Of course I went prepared for the wait with my sketchbook. Which of the patients looks the most unwell? I think it was the woman at the top in the middle. She looked miserable and didn't even look at her phone once...a sure sign she must be sick. lol

Thursday, January 11, 2018

House in the Snow

All the snow we had is making for some interesting paintings. I did this one parked in a parking lot by the Coast Guard Station in Patchogue.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Barber Shop

I've always wanted to sketch this barber shop in Sayville but usually there are too many cars parked along the street to see anything. This time there were snow piles, but they weren't as disruptive to the scene as the cars.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Snow from the Window

On the day after our snowstorm I was still in the house waiting for all the roads, paths, and the snow by my garage door to be plowed.  I moved to the bedroom window to paint. Like I've said before the views out all my windows is pretty much the same. The arrangement of trees is just a little different. The bushes in the foreground are right up to my windows. I used artistic license this time and removed the fence. This was done with gouache.